Review: Tazo Awake Black Tea

Black Tea, Tazo Add comments
James’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It has a heavy, strong and slightly bitter taste... this is the blend that permanently switched me from soft drinks to tea."
James’s Teaview: 8/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
tazo-awake.jpgTazo Awake is THE tea. I know that seems like a bold statement, but there is an explanation. For many years, I wanted to drink tea on a regular basis. But I did not like tea enough to drink it regularly, especially hot teas. Oh, an occasional cup of Celestial Seasons Orange Spice was palatable, but not something I could drink on a regular basis. Their teas always seemed weak to me, coming from a childhood addiction to that wonderful treat, Dr. Pepper. But that all changed in January, 2007.

I was stuck at a conference in Austin, Texas during an ice storm. One morning, after very little sleep, I needed caffeine. As I perused the teas available, the wonder of marketing drew me in: Awake. I had a cup and it is well named. It brewed nice and dark and was not like the watery teas I had tried before. Since that day, I regularly drink tea and only drink Dr. Pepper on special occasions. Tazo Awake is THE tea that finally got me to switch from soft drinks.

Tazo Awake is a good basic black tea that is relatively inexpensive and a good introduction to teas. Awake is one of the teas I recommend ...œ along with Choice Organic's Oolong ...œ to coffee drinkers who want to try tea. A blend of black teas, I must assume Awake has high amount of caffeine. It has a heavy, strong taste that makes it clear you are drinking more than water. Awake is one of the more bitter teas I've tasted, but my repertoire is limited. I keep a few packs at home and at work for those mornings when I haven't slept enough. Unfortunately, I go through them quickly.

After drinking this tea for a while, I started reading up on tea. With all the hype about green tea, I wondered if I could find one of those that I liked. Now that would be pure Zen!

— To purchase Tazo Awake Black Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: James James Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on James's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by James.


26 Responses to “Review: Tazo Awake Black Tea”

  1. AndyCR Says:

    If you want a cheaper but as good or better version of Awake, try blending good loose-leaf versions of Assam and Ceylon teas. They are what is used to make Awake, and a better quality, cheaper “Awake” blend can be had if you buy tea from vendors and mix it yourself.

  2. James Says:

    Absolutely. You are almost always better off with loose leaf. You can find plenty of breakfast blends without having to blend it yourself. However, this one continues to be a ‘stand by’ for me. It is a great basic, strong breakfast tea with the convenience of a teabag. I don’t drink it when I have time to make something better, but always have some on hand, with other breakfast blends, for when I am in a hurry.

  3. Heather [Age:18] // EVER Says:

    To be honest, I think this tea is perfect, I first tried it out at my old High School when I was sick one morning. It made me feel so energetic and happy. I been sick this past week, drinking this and Tazo’s Zen Green Tea has helped me cure a cold within a week! That is a HUGE deal for me considering I usually get sick around winter with nasty colds for more then 3 – 4 weeks on END! Try it if you like hot tea or cold tea that you could drink strong or mild, it clears your mind. 🙂

  4. silvermage2000 Says:

    Tazo awake tea I’s a black tea. This has a fairly strong taste and a high amount of caffiene. I do think that It’s pretty good. Although abit stronger then I would prefer.
    This I’s really good as a morning drink or something when you are tired.

  5. Sasha Says:

    After just finishing my first cup of Tazo’s Awake tea, just ten minutes ago, I prompted to look up reviews and found this site. I’m a previous big fan of dark teas, and mostly non-fruit teas; such as Earl Grey.
    I’d like to say I am very impressed with the flavour, it really does let you know it’s much more than just water.

  6. Sugaraven5227 Says:

    I don’t do this very often, but I have to comment on the Tazo Awake tea. I absolutely love, love, love this tea. It has been like a Godsend to me and a very refreshing alternative to coffee. To me it is not as bitter as green tea it has a very light mild sweet after taste that quenches the thirst and I literally make it by the pitcher to drink at my desk. It gives me a little pep but nothing jittery and no insomnia at night. Just a feel good feeling. It’s lighter and more refreshing than coffee.
    It’s rich and robust in flavor and it goes toe to toe with green tea as far as health benefits. It gets me through that 3pm slump in the afternoon, so I am not grabbing a soda or some sugary substance. I believe this change in habit has led to some of my weight loss. It’s right up there with Nature’s purest for me. I can’t speak highly enough about the awake tea all I know is I highly recommend it. I drink about 4-20ozs daily.

  7. Mike Says:

    My first Tazo black tea was ice tea in a restaurant in Dallas. I could not stop drinking it. I asked the waiter about the tea and he gave me a package of the Tazo that they use in the restaurant. Since then, I have bought the awake tea in tea bags. It is the best hot tea I have ever had. Before Tazo, I would brew tea hoping that it would tastes wonderful but it never does. With Tazo, it tastes the way you dream that tea should.

    I do not find it bitter at all. Just smooth and robust.

  8. Jeffro Says:

    I usually have a cup of tea in the morning first thing when I get to the office. After completing some morning tasks, I like to get a can of Rockstar 0 sugar/0 carb energy drink to pep me up. This has been my daily routine for about 4 months now. This morning I had a cup of Awake and I still feel no need for the energy drink! Wow, great pick-me-up and great taste too!! It truly is now one of my favorites. I think i will try to make a similar tea from loose leaf, but will it have the same pep?

  9. Molly Says:

    It is the only tea I drink for my morning fix. I started drinking it about 9 years ago and have withdrawals when I run out! I am not a coffee drinker so this is my alternative. I have the same problem with weaker, watery teas. I don’t like them.

  10. Michelle Porter Says:

    At least I know why I couldn’t sleep last night! I’m a coffee connoisseur but drinking it late in the day isn’t an option for me. I decided to try the AWAKE teabag I got at a recent hotel stay. I didn’t realize it was high octane! Usually tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee. I wish there had been a warning on the label! I prefer Earl Gray or Red Rose, but would drink Awake for it’s medicinal properties!

  11. ebolaz Says:

    I have been trying to wean myself off of coffee. And Tazo Awake has been one of my replacements. Could it be that it has much caffeine as a Starbucks Iced Americano (2 shots in boiling water to fill a medium size SB cup)?!? Is this true? I just assumed that since it is more obviously watery than an Americano that it probably had less caffeine. I guess the name ‘Awake’ should have clued me in somehow. Shoot, now I have to quit Tazo Awake and strickly stick with green tea. Is there a place to look up caffeine content of coffees and teas? Actually, that was what I was looking for when I chance upon this website. Thanks for the info!

  12. Sherry Says:

    I was never a big starbucks drinker until I started to wean myself off coffee. We were on vacation in Texas, it was 112 degrees, so my husband and I stopped at a starbucks to get an iced something. He got coffee, and I tried for the first time an Iced Chai Latte…… and was addicted!!! Then after some research learned they make it from concentrate!! Yuck! So I had been making my own chai lattes at home (with tea bags, creamer, and truvia) until recently, after wanting some variety, I tried an Awake latte……and it was very yummy, and gave me the same energy boost as coffee used to (and they brew it from an actual tea bag, not concentrate). According to the Starbucks store website, Awake is: “bold, malty teas from India and bright, full-flavored teas from Sri Lanka and Kenya. Thick and rich enough to handle a splash of milk, with hints of dark caramel and black cherry, this loose-leaf tea is more nuanced and flavorful than your typical breakfast tea”. Bought my own bags @ grocery a few days ago, and just love the taste! There is no need for coffee or soda when you have so many varieties of tea to choose from.

  13. Brian Says:

    It’s nasty. I will give that I think this because I personally enjoy darker blends (Irish Breakfast is a fave) but that sweet taste it has mixed in, doesn’t mix.

    At first it has a nice taste expected of a breakfast tea, but then this sugary sweetness comes in that just ruins everything.

  14. Kayla Says:

    I have been a hot tea drinker for several years, and have enjoyed almost everything I have tried. But after having my first cup of AWAKE, I feel great! It is lighter than coffee and does not make me feel jittery. This is a must have for college students who are trying to avoid the soda machine.

  15. Mariana Says:

    I just can’t believe this tea. I drink coffee regularly. Like 3-4 cups a day regularly, but it has never made me feel as awake and energetic as this tea. It is really strong. I don’t think I’ll drink it for pleasure but it is a great pick me up.

  16. Jack Rance Says:

    Tazo has just repackaged their AWAKE Tea and despite claims that the “blend is the same” it’s now yucky!Warning Warning!( I’m trying to stock up on the old red boxes with the “old blend ” of tea)

  17. John Says:

    Jack Rance is right. I have enjoyed Awake every morning for countless years, but the new repackaged Awake English Breakfast is awful.

  18. Tracy Says:

    I agree with Jack Rance — they have changed the blend of my favorite tea and it is definitely not the same taste of the old Tazo Awake. This is horrible!!

  19. June Bromley Says:

    Your new repackaged Englsh Breakfast Awake is not the same as the old Tazo awake. It taste bad. Sell your original Tazo Awake tea.

  20. Pablo Says:

    I concur with the recent comments. The new Awake is weak and nearly flavorless. What a let-down!

  21. Karen Says:

    I am a big Awake Tea drinker – or should I say “was”. I am so upset that Tazo has changed its Awake tea blend. Who can I write to and ask them to bring back the old blend? I have a few bags of the old Awake tea and am saving them for “special” occasions. Do you have any idea why Tazo changed the blend of teas for this former delicious tasting tea? Thanks.

  22. LB Says:

    The reason Awake has changed so much is Starbucks bought out Tazo, bless their black hearts. Tazo Awake was extremely popular (along with other Tazo teas) and I think they wanted the money/customer base. In addition, if you can trust at all what you read, some family member was placed in positiion at Starbucks and Awake as we knew it went down the drain. Now you cannot buy the loose leaf anymore either and I used to buy it by the bag.
    I drank Awake for years as it was the best tea I ever had but now? Might as well go buy any other tea bag off the shelf. It IS still better than Lipton but only marginally.

  23. david Says:

    Actually Tazo has been owned by Starbucks since 1999

  24. Lese Says:

    I have been called a tea connoisseur. The ORIGINAL Awake tea is one tea that EVERY tea and coffee drinker MUST try. If brewed correctly, for the tea drinkers it has a rich full flavored taste that stimulates your palate, with a clean aftertaste that you can almost smell. For the coffee drinkers, it clearly jolts you awake. The caffeine content is very high, so those who cannot handle caffeine should mix with additional hot water after brewing. You should also avoid drinking it before bed or make sure it is out of your system before you try to go to sleep, because you would definitely have nightmares. The new blend is a disgusting, horrible tasting concoction. Whoever did the taste test for that one were all sick with the flu on that day and had no idea what they wee tasting. Their salaries should be cut for letting such a fine tea be associated with this horrible new blend. The savings from the salaries they could use to re-marketing the original Awake tea, and sales would jump significantly. Listen to your customers, and rework your statistics. If we cant find the tea, we cant buy it, and sales will suffer.

  25. Carolyn Says:

    Has anyone found a good replacement for the original Awake? Not only has the tea been horrible since the re-do last year, Starbucks is cutting it out in favor of Teevana.

  26. Joe Says:

    I never tried the “original” Tazo Awake blend but I do enjoy what is the current version of it. I like to dress it up with lots of milk & sugar. It has a nice caffeine kick to get me going in the morning.

    Sometimes, however, i admit i need more of a jolt than even Tazo provides..So, for people who don’t like the “new” awake blend & are looking for a new tea to replace it, I recommend Stash Super Irish Breakfast tea. It is described as the “espresso of teas”. It has Assam & Ceylon black teas in it (just like Awake) but it uses more Assam..which gives it an extra caffeine kick.

    You can get the Super Irish breakfast teabags at most Sprouts stores (if you have one in your area),, or the Stash website. You can also choose to get the Super Irish Breakfast full leaf pyramid sachet at the Stash web site. The pyramids are a little more expensive (and you have to pay for shipping), but I think full leaf is more potent & offers even more of a kick than the powdered leaf in teabags.
    Which ever version you choose, they both have a wonderful wake-you-up amount of caffeine.

    hope this information helps!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in